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A major step toward an Alzheimer’s treatment and vaccine | KurzweilAI

A major step toward an Alzheimer’s treatment and vaccine | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A way to stimulate the brain’s natural defense mechanisms in people with Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered by researchers at Université Laval, CHU de Québec and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): a molecule known as MPL (monophosphoryl lipid A) that stimulates the activity of the brain’s immune cells.

The breakthrough opens the door to developing a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and a vaccine to prevent the illness.

 

 

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Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil

Reinvent Yourself: The Playboy Interview with Ray Kurzweil | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Many think author, inventor and data scientist Ray Kurzweil is a prophet for our digital age. A few say he’s completely nuts. Kurzweil, who heads a team of more than 40 as a director of engineering at Google, believes advances in technology and medicine are pushing us toward what he calls the Singularity, a period of profound cultural and evolutionary change in which computers will outthink the brain and allow people—you, me, the guy with the man-bun ahead of you at Starbucks—to live forever. He dates this development at 2045.
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CliniCloud Review: Should Doctors and Patients Use the Digital Stethoscope? - The Medical Futurist

CliniCloud Review: Should Doctors and Patients Use the Digital Stethoscope? - The Medical Futurist | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The digital stethoscope lets patients and doctors record cardiac and lung sounds, then stream them to a clinician remotely, storing them for comparisons later.

 

Doctors have always relied on the stethoscope to diagnose common conditions, from asthma and pneumonia to the common cold. The modern stethoscope has become a symbol of being a physician. However, …

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Is exercise an effective cancer therapy?

Is exercise an effective cancer therapy? | Longevity science | Scoop.it
While it's well-known that regular exercise can help you avoid getting cancer in the first place, researchers now believe that it could also be useful in actually combating the disease. An upcoming study led by University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) researchers aims to provide a more concrete answer to the question – can exercise really help fight cancer?

Not getting enough regular exercise can have a big negative impact on health. According to Cancer Research UK, lack of exercise played a role in more than five million deaths globally in 2008, and as many as 3,400 cancer cases in the UK in 2011 were strongly linked to low physical activity.
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Cognitive assessment in the palm of your hand

Cognitive assessment in the palm of your hand | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Gaining access to tools that could provide insights into an individual's cognitive functions like memory and decision-making have typically been expensive, and limited to those given by a medical professional or clinician. Savonix is bent on changing that, with what it says is the first mobile and clinically-valid cognitive and brain health assessment tool in the world.

The Savonix assessment tool is a mobile app available for either iOS or Android devices. It was developed by a team of Stanford University healthcare professionals, using published data gleaned from past clinical research results involving cognitive assessments.
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Can Tracking Our Hormones Make Us Smarter With Money?

Can Tracking Our Hormones Make Us Smarter With Money? | Longevity science | Scoop.it
According to a National Bureau of Economics working paper published this March, roughly three quarters of all American households carry some form of debt. 40% haven’t paid off their credit cards. Nearly half have no savings at all. And the US isn’t alone: Canada, the UK and Australia are in roughly the same debt-ridden neighborhood.

There’s no doubt that we’re bad with money. But according to Richard Thaler, an economist at the University Chicago, we’re not (entirely) to blame.
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Gene helps prevent heart attack, stroke; may also block effects of aging | KurzweilAI

Gene helps prevent heart attack, stroke; may also block effects of aging | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that a gene called Oct4 — which scientific dogma insists is inactive in adults — actually plays a vital role in preventing ruptured atherosclerotic plaques inside blood vessels, the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes.

The researchers found that Oct4 controls the conversion of smooth muscle cells into protective fibrous “caps” inside plaques, making the plaques less likely to rupture. They also discovered that the gene promotes many changes in gene expression that are beneficial in stabilizing the plaques. In addition, the researchers believe it may be possible to develop drugs or other therapeutic agents that target the Oct4 pathway as a way to reduce the incidence of heart attacks or stroke.
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Potential cancer killer hatched from sea snail eggs

Potential cancer killer hatched from sea snail eggs | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Potential cancer treatments often come from unexpected sources, like plants, artificial sweeteners and industrial solvents. Now, tests have shown that a type of molecule originally derived from sea snail eggs has performed surprisingly well in destroying cancer cells, particularly those that have become resistant to other treatments.

A wide range of blood cancers and solid tumors, including breast, ovarian, pancreatic and lower gastrointestinal cancers, can develop a resistance to chemotherapy drugs over time. This multidrug-resistance can severely limit treatment options and increase the chances of relapse.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, May 19, 7:32 PM
Potential cancer killer?
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Stanford's whiz-bang idea to bring gold-standard urine testing to the home

Stanford's whiz-bang idea to bring gold-standard urine testing to the home | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A urine test can be an invaluable way of detecting a number of medical conditions, a list which can include infections, diseases, and even certain types of cancer. Looking to improve access to this diagnostics tool, Stanford University engineers have designed a smartphone-based urine test for the home that relies on the same approach used in the doctor's office, claiming it could offer equally accurate results.
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FDA Issues Long-Awaited 3D Printing Guidance for Medical Devices | RAPS

FDA Issues Long-Awaited 3D Printing Guidance for Medical Devices | RAPS | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a new draft guidance for medical device manufacturers working with additive manufacturing (AM), which is more commonly known as 3D printing.

In March, FDA approved the first-ever 3D printed drug, Aprecia's epilepsy drug SPRITAM, which relies on 3D printing technology to rapidly disintegrate in a patient's mouth, making it easier to swallow. For biologics, researchers are looking into 3D printing as a means of manufacturing cell and tissue products.
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Can Dead Brains Be Brought Back to Life? First Human Study to Find Out

Can Dead Brains Be Brought Back to Life? First Human Study to Find Out | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Last month, a Philadelphia-based biotech company kicked off a clinical trial that pushes the envelope of what it means to be dead.

Armed with ethical approval from the IRB at the Anupam Hospital in India, Bioquark is recruiting 20 patients who have been clinically deemed brain dead from severe traumatic brain injury.

With an arsenal of cutting-edge, if mysterious, treatment techniques — stem cells, bioactive molecules, brain and spinal cord stimulation — the team hopes to revive parts of the patients’ basic brain functions, with the eventual “holy grail” goal of returning the ability to breathe on their own.
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Eric Larson's curator insight, May 16, 6:26 PM
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Silk Stabilizes Blood Samples for Months at High Temperatures

Silk Stabilizes Blood Samples for Months at High Temperatures | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Researchers at Tufts University have stabilized blood samples for long periods of time without refrigeration and at high temperatures by encapsulating them in air-dried silk protein. The technique, which is published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has broad applications for clinical care and research that rely on accurate analysis of blood and other biofluids.
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How Scientists Are Hacking Biology to Build at the Molecular Scale

How Scientists Are Hacking Biology to Build at the Molecular Scale | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Proteins orchestrate a complicated molecular dance in living cells—but what if we could contract them to build other things too?

In a recent Dartmouth College study published in Nature Communications, researchers show an artificial protein (COP) can organize 60-atom balls of carbon—known as fullerene or buckyball—into a lattice. The two molecules self-assemble into a stable protein-fullerene structure, in which fullerene's carbon balls are sandwiched between the proteins.

The results are of particular note because although fullerene is already well-known in nanotechnology for its high heat resistance and doped superconductivity, it isn’t easy to assemble into useful structures.

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Homo Sapiens 2.0? We need a species-wide conversation about the future of human genetic enhancement | KurzweilAI

We have all the tools we need to alter the genetic makeup of our species. The science is here. The realization is inevitable. Timing is the only variable.

Not everyone has heard of Moore’s Law, the observation that computer processing power roughly doubles every 18 months, but we’ve all internalized its implications. That’s why we expect each new version of our iPhones and laptops to be smaller, do more, and cost less. But it’s looking increasingly possible there may be a Moore’s Law equivalent for genomics. In our world of exponential scientific advancement, the genetic future will arrive far faster than most people think or are prepared for.

This future is arriving, quite literally, in baby steps. In fact, the first state-authorized genetically altered babies will be born in the UK later this year.
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New cancer treatment targets sick cells only

New cancer treatment targets sick cells only | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Chemotherapy is the standard treatment for cancer but it also causes strong side effects and kills not only cancer cells, but healthy ones, too. In order to mitigate the damage this type of therapy causes to a person already ravaged by illness, a team of Brazilian researchers is working a new technique to deliver drugs with more precision, so healthy cells are more likely to be spared from chemical onslaught.

The scientists at Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM) and Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) have developed a technique that uses silica nanoparticles to carry curcumin, a candidate drug against prostate cancer, the type of cancer the study has looked into. The particles were coated with folate, a vitamin that is naturally drawn to tumor cells.

The outcome of the study so far has been quite impressive. During in vitro tests, the nanoparticles killed around 70 percent of prostate tumor cells while only 10 percent of healthy cells of the same lineage were hit.
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Can synthetic molecules conquer jet lag?

Can synthetic molecules conquer jet lag? | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers in Japan have synthesized molecules that can shorten our sleep cycle and potentially help with health problems caused by jet lag, shift work and sleep disorders.

Potential ways to reset the biological clock include using lasers and optical fibers to artificially stimulate the relevant area of the brain, or blocking enzymes that respond to light and dark cycles. Along similar lines, scientists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), at Nagoya University, have synthesized molecules that target specific proteins key to the circadian rhythm.

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Cell-phone-radiation study finds associated brain and heart tumors in rodents | KurzweilAI

Cell-phone-radiation study finds associated brain and heart tumors in rodents | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A series of studies over two years with rodents exposed to radio frequency radiation (RFR) found low incidences of malignant gliomas (tumors of glial support cells) in the brain and schwannoma tumors in the heart.*

The studies were performed under the auspices of the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP).

Potentially preneoplastic (pre-cancer) lesions were also observed in the brain and heart of male rats exposed to RFR, with higher confidence in the association with neoplastic lesions in the heart than the brain.
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One pill to rule them all: 3D printing tech combines multiple drugs in a single pill

One pill to rule them all: 3D printing tech combines multiple drugs in a single pill | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Remembering to take a pill once daily can be hard enough, but it gets particularly challenging when you have to take several doses throughout the day – especially if you're taking multiple types of medication. To make things easier, scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a new technique that uses a 3D printer to combine multiple doses of different medications in a single time-release tablet.
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Is the World Ready for Synthetic Life? Scientists Plan to Create Whole Genomes

Is the World Ready for Synthetic Life? Scientists Plan to Create Whole Genomes | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Last weekend, an invite-only group of about 150 experts convened privately at Harvard. Behind closed doors, they discussed the prospect of designing and building an entire human genome from scratch, using only a computer, a DNA synthesizer and raw materials.

The artificial genome would then be inserted into a living human cell to replace its natural DNA. The hope is that the cell “reboots,” changing its biological processes to operate based on instructions provided by the artificial DNA.

In other words, we may soon be looking at the first “artificial human cell.”
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How the Hidden Mathematics of Living Cells Could Help Us Decipher the Brain

How the Hidden Mathematics of Living Cells Could Help Us Decipher the Brain | Longevity science | Scoop.it
So will we ever be able to model something as complex as the human brain using computers? After all, biological systems use symmetry and interaction to do things that even the most powerful computers cannot do — like surviving, adapting and reproducing. This is one reason why binary logic often falls short of describing how living things or human intelligence work. But our new research suggests there are alternatives: by using the mathematics that describe biological networks in the computers of the future, we may be able to make them more complex and similar to living systems like the brain.
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Genetic Connections Among Human Traits | The Scientist Magazine®

Genetic Connections Among Human Traits | The Scientist Magazine® | Longevity science | Scoop.it
FLICKR, MIKI YOSHIHITOTo understand the genetic underpinnings of human phenotypes, scientists can scan thousands of genomes to identify common variants among people with particular traits, an approach known as genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In a new study published today (May 16) in Nature Genetics, researchers combined data from more than 16 GWAS as well as from 23andMe’s database to discover novel gene-trait associations. But the researchers also added an extra layer of analysis, pooling 42 seemingly different traits—including diseases—to uncover phenotypes that may be causally linked.

“Our idea was to try to gather up all the traits that have been studied in large genetic studies and see if there is shared biology between these different traits that seem unrelated,” study coauthor Joseph Pickrell of the New York Genome Center in New York City told The Scientist.
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Ingestible origami robot

Ingestible origami robot | Longevity science | Scoop.it
In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, researchers at MIT, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated a tiny origami robot that can unfold itself from a swallowed capsule and, steered by external magnetic fields, crawl across the stomach wall to remove a swallowed button battery or patch a wound.

The new work, which the researchers are presenting this week at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, builds on a long sequence of papers on origami robots from the research group of Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
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Lab-grown blood vessels appear a safe alternative to synthetic implants

Lab-grown blood vessels appear a safe alternative to synthetic implants | Longevity science | Scoop.it
A team, made up of researchers at Duke University, Yale University and the tissue engineering company Humacyte, grew bioengineered vessels in the lab that contain no living cells, then implanted them into 60 patients who require dialysis due to kidney failure, with results suggesting they perform better than synthetic alternatives.
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Repairing damaged cartilage with a man-made bio-glass

Repairing damaged cartilage with a man-made bio-glass | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Pioneering technologies like 3D printing have had a huge impact on the medical world, and now a unique material developed by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Milano-Bicocca could lead to all-new implants for replacing damaged cartilage, including discs between vertebrae. The new material mimics the properties of the real thing, while encouraging the re-growth of natural cartilage.

Cartilage, which is found in joints, as well as between vertebrae in the spine, is not as easy to repair as other types of connective tissue, and its degeneration can leave patients in a lot of pain. A new bio-material, made up of a mixture of a polymer called polycaprolactone and silica, could help with the ability to replace lost cartilage.
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Pinpointed breast cancer genes explain why some cases are so hard to beat

Pinpointed breast cancer genes explain why some cases are so hard to beat | Longevity science | Scoop.it
the team found a total of 40 mutated genes that are instrumental in breast cancer progression, only a small number of which had previously been known to be involved in the disease.

More specifically, they were able to determine that a commonly mutated gene, known as PIK3CA, is closely linked to a lower chance of surviving the condition in three of the 10 subtypes. This explains why treatments that target the gene are effective at combating the cancer in some patients, but not others – something that has puzzled researchers up to this point.
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Invisible second skin is applied like gel to smooth out wrinkles

Invisible second skin is applied like gel to smooth out wrinkles | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Unless you possess the magical healing powers of a Hollywood celebrity, your skin is going to lose elasticity and gain wrinkles as you grow older. And the effects are not just cosmetic, with the skin's ability to guard against extreme temperatures, radiation and toxins diminishing over time. A new invisible polymer coating from MIT may offer a way to apply to brakes, however, by stretching over existing skin to smooth out wrinkles, act as a protective barrier and even slowly deliver drugs to treat eczema and other conditions.

Described as a second skin, the polymer is applied in two stages. A chemical structure called siloxane, which is made up of alternating atoms of silicon and oxygen, is first spread out over the skin in a clear cream. A platinum catalyst is then applied, which transforms the siloxane into a cross-linked polymer layer (XPL).
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Eric Larson's curator insight, May 12, 8:51 AM
Second Skin?
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Using stem cells to save rhinos from extinction

Using stem cells to save rhinos from extinction | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The northern white rhino is right on the brink of extinction, with only three of the species left on the planet. There's zero hope for the animals surviving naturally, but a team of scientists believes it might still be possible to bring the species back from the brink, with hopes of using stored genetic information to produce a new population.

The goal of the project is to bring new technologies and approaches to bear in the fight against the animals' otherwise certain extinction. Central to the effort is a need to maintain a genetic bank of frozen tissue, spermatozoa and oocytes of the animals. Those resources have currently been saved in both Europe and San Diego.
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